A highlight of my visit to the Hague a couple years ago, was seeing the wonderful Mesdag Panorama.
From the website, its “ a cylindrical painting, more than 14 meters high and 120 meters in circumference. The vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen village was painted by one of the most famous painters of the Hague School, Hendrik Willem Mesdag. It is the oldest 19th century panorama in the world in its original site, and a unique cultural heritage.”
You enter the giant cylinder through a passageway to stand in the center, in a special viewing platform, which controls your 360 degree view of the huge scene. I was not permitted to take photos, but have found a great image (above) on flickr by Aldo. which is a great shot *outside* of the illusion.
I was reminded of this, by seeing this morning’s Times piece on the Gettysburg panorama, lots of great photos, and will be on my must visit list when it reopens this September. Paul Philippoteaux was the creator of this amazing work.
Stephan Oettermann, The panorama: history of a mass medium. New York: Zone Books, 1997. Trans. by Deborah Lucas Schneider . ISBN 0-942299-83-3 review
Excellent web article about history of painted panoramas with links http://www.acmi.net.au/AIC/PANORAMA.html
Aldo’s blog link